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Bank1Car dealers back Bank of England interest rate cut to 0.25%

The motor retail sector has given the thumbs up to the Bank of England to cutting interest rates from 0.5% to 0.25%.

The NFDA urged finance houses to pass the cuts on to customers to stimulate spending.

“It is positive that the Bank of England has decided to cut the interest rate for the first time since March 2009 to a record low of 0.25%”, said Sue Robinson, director of the NFDA.

“Low interest rates represent an incentive for consumers who want to commit to larger purchases -including cars, and we believe this decision will continue to support the car market, in particular, after the vote turmoil.

FLADealer consumer finance sales surge 16% in first half

The boom in new and used consumer car finance at dealerships continued in the first half of 2016 with sales up 16% by value and 11% by volume.

The percentage of private new car sales financed by FLA members through dealers reached 84.9% in the twelve months to June, up from 84.3% in the twelve months to May, according to figures for the Finance & Leasing Association.

Dealer point-of-sale consumer new car finance market saw new business grow 10% by value and 5% by volume in June, compared with the same month last year.

The POS consumer used car finance market also reported new business up 9% by value and 7% by volume in June. New business in the first half of 2016 grew 14% by value and 11% by volume.

Source: Motor Trader

PendragonPendragon boss Trevor Finn doesn’t expect new car price rises in wake of Brexit

Pendragon chief executive Trevor Finn is not expecting car manufacturers to hike up new vehicle prices in the wake of the UK’s decision to leave the EU.

Finn said in the dealer group’s interim results to June 30, 2016 that discussions with its franchise partners has meant the business does not anticipate price changes driven by exchange rates. The group is pushing ahead with adding eight dealerships to its network.

He said: “The UK’s decision to exit the EU has caused some uncertainty, but to date the business has not experienced any noticeable change in our customers’ behaviour.

“Based on discussions with our franchise partners, we do not anticipate any material effect on new vehicle pricing as a result of exchange rates.  We anticipate our performance for 2016 will be in line with expectations.”

Pendragon kept its gross margin and operating margins stable year-on-year over the period, remaining at 12.4% and 2.5% respectively.

The UK’s biggest dealer group posted a 4.3% increase in operating profits from £56.3 million to £58.7m, helped by a strong used car sales performance from its Evans Halshaw volume business in particular, with like for like gross profitacross the group up £4.7 million, an increase of 6.2%. Aftersales gross profit increased by 2% or £1.9m and gross profits increased by by 11.6% to £9.3m.

EV3Motorists buying record numbers of electric cars

Motorists in the UK are buying more electric vehicles than ever.

Since records began in 2011, volumes of electric car registrations have risen steeply.

In the April-June period of this year, 38% more electric cars were registered compared to the same timeframe in 2015, building on a 27.4% pick-up in the first quarter.

Transport minister John Hayes said: “The low-emission sector supports over 18,000 UK jobs and is a key pillar in our ambition for a low carbon, high tech and high skills economy.

“We want to make the UK a world leader in electric vehicle uptake and manufacture, to ensure that by 2050 every car and van on our roads is a zero emission vehicle. We are backing this with one of the most comprehensive support packages in the world, with more than £600m of government investment to help grow the UK market.”

Source: AM Online

Pendragon profits up by almost 10 per cent to £44.2m

Pendragon reported a healthy increase with a profit before tax rose of £3.9 million to £44.2 million, while like-for-like gross profit in its used car operation increased by 6.2 per cent to £4.7 million.

Other financial highlights include:

  • Underlying earnings per share up 0.2p (+9.5 per cent), from 2.1p to 2.3p.
    · Interim dividend of 0.7p per share following Pendragon’s 2015 final dividend of the same amount.
    · Share buyback programme of £20 million underway with £2.6 million purchased and cancelled so far.

New research reveals buyers dumping diesel cars for petrol models

The latest What Car? Intelligence Survey results indicated that more than seven in 10 people would be likely or very likely to choose a petrol car, compared with the four in 10 who would consider buying a diesel.

With engine performance and good fuel consumption being rated as the two most important factors for car buyers, the shift from diesel to petrol is more about running costs than concerns about the environment, following the diesel emissions scandal last year.

In recent years, diesel car sales have matched or exceeded petrol sales. In 2014 and 2015, diesel models represented 50.1 per cent and 48.5 per cent market share respectively.

More than 84 per cent of car buyers surveyed are also worried about possible legislation changes that may affect the cost of ownership of diesel cars in the future.

Source: Car Dealer Magazine

electric charging pointBlack cabs go electric

London Taxi will invest $400m in turning the fleet of black cabs electric, according to a report in the Economic Times.

President of the company Peter Johansen says the money will be spent as part of an overall transition which is hoped will go some way to cleaning up air quality in London. Smog in the capital is understood to cause up to 10,000 premature deaths each year, and new mayor Sadiq Khan has made cleaner air quality a priority.

Source: Bodyshop Mag

CAPHPICap HPI reveal most amusing and unusual car names

Automotive experts Cap HPI have revealed the top 10 list of amusing vehicle names following a poll amongst its team of Black Book editors.

The list of amusingly named cars polled by Cap HPI included:

1) Ford Probe

2) Panda Mamy

3) Renault Wind

4) Nissan Micra Wave

5) Reva G-Wiz

6) Robin Hood Lightweight

7) Ibiza E

8) Toyota Deliboy

9) Volugrafo Bimbo

10) Mitsubishi Lettuce

Charging infrastructure ‘keeping pace’ with EV uptake

In contrast, the number of public electric vehicle charging locations is expected to reach 7,900 by 2020. However, the accelerating adoption of electric vehicles means this could happen a lot sooner.

More than 75% of UK petrol stations have closed in the last 40 years, whilst the number of electric vehicle charging locations has increased from a few hundred in 2011 to more than 4,100 locations in 2016, as electric car sales take off.

Nissan was the first manufacturer to introduce a mass-produced EV and has sold more EVs than any other car brand worldwide. The company has also been a strong advocate of supporting a convenient charging infrastructure – even so far as to partner with Ecotricity last year, calling on the UK government to introduce official EV charging point road signage.

Whilst the vast majority of electric vehicle owners charge at home, 98% of UK motorway services have charging stations, including rapid connectors that can charge a Leaf’s battery to 80% in just 30 minutes.

Source: Fleet News

MobilePhoneUsageAlmost half of drivers aged 25-34 use apps while driving

A study by Brake and Direct Line reveals that more than half (55%) of 25-34 year old drivers questioned admitted they had sent or read a text message on their mobile, while behind the wheel of their car, in the last year.

Despite it being illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone at all while driving, one in five young drivers (18-24) confirmed they regularly text and/or instant message when they are behind the wheel. More than four in 10 (42%) revealed they send or read messages at least once a week and just under half of drivers (49%) aged 25-34 admitted they sometimes go online or use apps while driving.

Alice Bailey, campaigns and communications adviser for Brake said: “Younger drivers, especially those aged between 25 and 34, simply aren’t getting the message about the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving. Doing any other complex task while driving hugely increases your chance of crashing.”

Source: Fleet World

Posted by Sue Robinson on 05/08/2016